Ask Matty G: Ginella answers your golf and travel mailbag questions

Matt Ginella is taking your golf and travel questions on Twitter and answering them each week on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, 7 AM ET. In this round of questions, he talks Scotland hidden gems, top golf course developers and Pinehurst vs. Kiawah Island.

@AndyMarcolin asks: Matt. Vegas. Cascata or Shadow Creek if you had a choice.

I prefer the total experience of Shadow Creek. If it's at all possible, they make you feel like the $500 green fee is worth it. You have to stay at an MGM property and there are only two tee times Monday thru Thursday, but if you get one of them, you'll enjoy the day, especially the part when you are picked up and dropped off in a limo.

Scott Durgin @sldurgin asks: Would you go to Pinehurst (for 1st time) or do a return trip to Kiawah?

Without question, I'd go to Pinehurst. It's the "Cradle of American Golf" and host of both Men's and Women's Opens in June. Pinehurst is at the top of every avid golfer's bucket list, especially after Coore & Crenshaw's restoration of Pinehurst No. 2.

Jason Lingefelt @JasonLingefelt asks: Playing Pinehurst this weekend. No 1 and No 2. Where's the best place to eat afterwards?

I like the 1895 Grille in the Holly Inn. (Might want to bring a jacket.)
For a more casual setting, I like the Ryder Cup Lounge in the Carolina Hotel.
Hickory Tavern is a an options for a sports bar.

Pinecrest Inn (chip into the fireplace) and Dugan's Pub are also popular watering holes.

Video: Matty G answers your questions on Morning Drive

Chad Tully @ChadTully2h asks: Ever play Turning Stone resort in upstate NY? Thinking NYC local buddies trip this June.

I have and I'm a fan. There are three good golf courses, including Atunyote, which hosted a tour event for a few years. There's good lodging, several food options, casino and world-class fishing in the Salmon River, less than an hour away. Plus, they offer several affordable stay & play packages.

@tdgallant_6h asks: Better course: Kingsbarns or Castle Stuart?

These are two modern classics and the fact they're both in Scotland is a tribute to the vision of owner, Mark Parsinen, and architects, Gil Hanse of Castle Stuart and Kyle Phillips of Kingsbarns. It's almost impossible to pick between the two, but tie goes to Kingsbarns for being so close to St. Andrews.

@BG_quality asks: Bachelor party in New Orleans. Where should we go for a quick but good round, mid June?

I like TPC Louisiana, host of the Zurich Classic. Cart path only thru April 28, in preparation for the tournament. There's a temporary green on no. 2. Green fees aren't cheap: $229, but they drop below $100 at 2:45 each day.

@JP_Thunder asks: What are the Top 5 lesser-known public courses in Scotland? Thanks Matty G!

I'll give you six, starting at my favorite:

Cruden Bay Golf Club (Standing on the 9th tee, you'll know why.)
Western Gailes (near Troon and Turnberry)
Nairn Golf Club (near Inverness in the Highlands)
Gullane No. 1 (near Muirfield & North Berwick in East Lothian)
Elie Golf Club (near St. Andrews)
Macrihanish Golf Club (Located on the Kintyre Peninsula, they've added a ferry service, which will be a big boost to their business.)

Chuck Pinter @ChickenPinter asks: Is Greenbrier a buddies-trip destination? Potential bachelor party spot?

I say yes, because there's great golf, plenty of manly amenities, which includes a casino and the Jerry West Steakhouse. I say no because of the decor, which is so aggressively floral and colorful you think you've jumped into the dream scene of Mary Poppins.

That being said, look into the South Carolina Row Cottages, which are mostly void of the Dorothy Draper design and has three to four bedrooms, plenty of space, and private patios.

@LuxHomeMagPDX asks: Who else is on the current Mt. Rushmore of course builders besides Keiser and Trump?

I'd throw out Trump because he buys courses, and I'd put in Herb Kohler. He hires Pete Dye to build courses that are worthy of multiple major championships.

I'm also going with Dick Youngscap, who had Coore & Crenshaw build Sand Hills in Nebraska and ultimately inspired Keiser to seek out land to build what became Bandon Dunes. Without Youngscap, safe to say we don't have Bandon, Barnbougle Dunes or Cabot Links. Not to mention what will be done at Sand Valley in Wisconsin.

I'd include Mark Parsinen, who hired Kyle Phillips to build Kingsbarns and Gil Hanse to build Castle Stuart. Both were instant modern classics in a land of simply classics. The fact that they're so successful and in Scotland is a tribute to the vision and execution of owner and architects.

Kurt Gerber @ksgerber_3h asks: One round in Santa Barbara area, willing to pay for a good value, #oceanviews

Sandpiper Golf Course, which was built by William F. Bell, the same guy who built Torrey Pines South, and you'll notice similarities throughout the round. I especially like the 11th hole, a 174-yard par 3 that sits on the water.

Have dinner at the Hitching Post II, made famous by the movie "Sideways."

Brian Baulch @Baulch asks: Best courses within one hour of Hilton Head Island, SC? Best time of year to play?

If you can get a sponsor, play Chechessee Creek Club, one of Coore & Crenshaw's best.

A local recommends Parris Island Golf Course, which is on the Marine Base, and where a green fee is roughly $35. March isn't bad. Locals will also recommend April, October and November.

@Stewgolf asks: What's the most underrated golf escape in the U.S., budget's not an issue?

I love Sunriver in Central Oregon. The high desert (elevation 3,600 feet) is at the base of Mt. Bachelor and gets intersected by the Deschutes and Little Deschutes Rivers. It's not out of the question to play golf, fish and ski all in the same day.

Other destinations to consider are:

Brainerd, Minn.
Hershey, Penn.
Napa, Calif.
Lake Tahoe-Truckee
Santa Fe, N.M.

Matt Ginella is Golf Advisor's Editor-at-Large and host of Golf Advisor Round Trip travel series on Golf Channel. Matt serves as resident buddy trip expert and captains a collection of VIP trips called Golf Advisor Getaways.

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With more than 300 days of sunshine -- and a much drier climate than people think of when they picture this part of the country -- central Oregon is an ideal spot for golf. Ranked among the top 50 golf destinations in the world by Golf Digest, central Oregon remains somewhat of an unknown to golfers in other parts of the country. This area, however, should definitely be on their radar if they're considering a golf trip, Mike Bailey writes.
Pinehurst Resort & C.C. is so in tune with its history, it's almost as if this iconic North Carolina golf resort lives in a time warp. Every move toward the future is made with a nod to the past, as the modern touches have seamlessly been introduced without disturbing the fabric of the resort. Pinehurst is a 2,000-acre tribute to Americana, and it will always be the holiest of grounds for those who worship the game of golf.
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Ask Matty G: Ginella answers your golf and travel mailbag questions